University of Basque Country (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 3213-3223
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
The communications media, far from fulfilling the intermediation function of merely transmitting the world’s events to their addressees, constitute discourse production spaces that configure social reality. From this perspective, the present discourse production process may be seen as a set of operations that mediate between singular, contingent facts, insignificant in themselves and which take place in real life and their subscription to the order of discourse and tale, in the form of news and information about current affairs.
The aim of education on the communications media is to acquire and develop the competencies involved in reading and interpreting the discourse strategies which sustain the processing of information on what is happening in the world.
But today’s informative discourse belongs to a battlefield of social discourses, fighting to define reality and construct meaning about ecological issues, where the possibilities for taking part and action in this problematic field are not evenly spread. Textual analysis of news dealing with environmental issues reveals that the discourse strategies involved in media construction of informative items not only focus on greater knowledge of the complex of variables involved in conforming the individual and society’s relationships with the environment, but rather the opposite, they foster immersion of the reader in a discourse universe of controversy, dominated by the dramatic and spectacular logic of the risk and immediacy of crisis, in detriment to other voices and arguments that might question the definition of the intelligibility framework of environmental problems.
This paper starts from a pedagogical approach of the analysis of the discourse focussing on the improvement of teaching-learning processes committed to research-action. The proposal adopts a critical theory perspective approach which aims to review educational experiences in the very context in which learning takes place, precisely there where, like a hidden curriculum, the conditions for accessing and building its meaning are decided.
Discourse analysis using a semi-pragmatic approach provides methodological tools that reveal the procedures whereby informative texts set interpretive frames for the meaning of environmental events, tensions and conflicts, while at the same time defining the mechanisms for textual co-operation, through which the informative text addresses and questions its interlocutor, and guides and regulates the reading conditions.
This paper is part of the research activities promoted by the UNESCO Chair of Sustainable Development and Environmental Education of the University of the Basque Country, in the framework of the project entitled, “La construcción mediática de la sostenibilidad. Representaciones sociales y estrategias narrativas del desarrollo sostenible.” (Media construction of sustainability. The social representations and narrative strategies of sustainable development).
education, information, textual analysis, environment, sustainability.